The City Council decided this week to go into debt with a new $25-million bond issue in an attempt to reduce losses of redevelopment money to the state.
State officials took $2 million in redevelopment money last year from Garden Grove and used it to help balance the state budget. The state is threatening to take another $3 million or more this year, city officials said.
Accordingly, council members, in their capacity as directors of the Agency for Community Development, on Tuesday night set in motion the process that will lead to the issue of a $25-million bond in May or June, saying they believe that the bonded indebtedness will protect the redevelopment money from the state.
State leaders “made a tax grab last year and are getting set to do it again,” City Councilman Bruce A. Broadwater said in an interview. “We’re trying to hold them off.”
Controller Anthony J. Andrade said the city still expects to lose redevelopment money to the state, but not nearly as much if there is new bonded indebtedness.
City officials have previously listed a number of public projects that the bond money can be used for in the redevelopment area, including a 40,000-square-foot City Hall; construction of a Civic Center parking structure; acquisition of land to complete an auto mall expansion on Trask Avenue; acquisition of property for a theme park and hotel; construction of a police station in the western part of the city; and rehabilitation of the city jail, police offices and fire stations.
To lay the groundwork for the bond issue, council members authorized contracts with a financial adviser, economic consultant underwriter and bond counsel.
Only Councilman Robert F. Dinsen voted against the bond measure, saying that residents should be consulted first.